Days Of Thunder
Our first experience with Days Of Thunder Arcade went something like this. We booted up the game, jumped straight into the career mode, and started a race on the Las Vegas oval. Nine laps in and we were still struggling to squeeze any enjoyment out of the slippery, awkward handling, or find anything complimentary to say about the game.
At least the race was almost over, we thought as we approached the finishing line. Unfortunately not. We were lightly bumped from behind, but our vehicle reacted as if hit by a wrecking bowl, flipping and crashing down on top of an opponent’s car.
The two vehicles became somehow entangled, and we watched in dismay as every other racer on the track sped across the finishing line, smoke pluming from of our wedged and immobile vehicle, while Michael Rooker’s voice uttered inane phrases over the radio like, “You gotta race them the way they race you, but better.” Yeah, thanks.
And not just once did this happen, but several times during our time with the game. Days Of Thunder Arcade is simply a poorly made, monontonous, and irritating racing racer bereft of playability or entertainment. It looks as if it were made in the late Nineties, and plays worse than most other racers released in that decade.
The main issue is the disastrously unwieldy handling. The lightest tap of the analogue stick will send your vehicle veering across the track, meaning the majority of each race is spent futilely attempting to keep yourself from spinning out. When the inevitable collisions are inconsistent – some huge crashes will see you lose about two mph in speed, while a light graze will send your car hurtling off the track.
You’ve got a boost gauge, which is filled by drafting, and a Focus meter allows you to slow down time when things get a little chaotic, but their impact on gameplay is negligible. There’s no real sensation of speed when boosting, and the ability to slow down time never felt useful – although it did make taking corners slightly less of a pain.